During the spring and summer hours my days are long, and continuous. If I’m not making crab traps, bait keepers, etc, I’m minnowing out of my NUCANOE Kayak.
With the full moon, the cool water, and a south wind minnows were tough to come by.
Last Thursday, was one of those days, I rowed around to some of my favorite minnow spots and dropped ten pots in a string about a mile long. Then rowed back to the truck to let the pots soak while the tide went out. I sat in the truck on my cell phone, confirming orders, yelling at the guy at the shop that was supposed to be building traps. About an hour before the bottom of the tide, I jumped out of the truck to find the wind blowing about 25 mph, white caps on bay, GREAT! I got one heckuva row to pick up all my traps. I would have to row into the wind to pick up the traps, but my mind said that was OK, I’d have the wind behind me to push me back to the truck.
I launched the Kayak and rowed out the crick and around the bend into the bay, furthest trap is a mile south. As I came up on the first trap I decided to check it,(I always check the traps on the way past) it contained 3 little minnows and an eel. Dumping the eel and minnows, I threw the trap back where it was, and continued rowing. Rowing into the wind was tough, I couldn’t believe how hard the rowing was…but I’m not giving up..I got traps to check. I picked up every trap on the way past, and put them back, all of them empty or dang near empty. I finally reached the last trap and pulled it, like the others it was full of small minnows. I dumped them, and turned my back into the wind, waiting for the wind to push me north. But to my dismay, I was hardly moving. Talking to my aching arms and shoulders, I urged them to keep paddling. Every stroke of the oar was a workout, I cheered my arms on, cussing the wind. I had two traps up a little ditch a couple of hundred yards. As I turned into the ditch, the rowing became harder, blaming my fatigued arms, I kept going. Wondering why, it’s dead low tide, I’m behind a wind break, I picked up the two traps, and went back to battle the whitecaps. My arms were killing me, but I had no choice but to keep rowing. I picked up the rest of the traps, and when I got to the one that had the eel, the first one I checked, my float and trap were missing. Cussing the crabbers that were in the area for stealing my trap. I fought the white caps and wind as I made the turn into the crick headed for the truck.
As I made the turn, I heard a strange noise toward the back of the Kayak. When I turned to investigate this noise I noticed a line running of the back of the kayak. What the hell is this I wondered as I grabbed it and pulled it in. It was my crab trap, the one that held the eel. When I heaved the trap back into the water, the wind swept the line behind me and wrapped around the rear cleat. I’d PULLED THAT STUPID TRAP ALONG THE BOTTOM OF THE BAY FOR OVER TWO MILES. No wonder my arms were tired, and they think my life’s easy.